Hazing, assault and threats: A timeline of Kappa Sigma’s recent investigation

Matthew Enfinger

Kappa Sigma’s Georgia Southern University chapter may face five years of university suspension following reports of the fraternity hazing and assaulting new members at an initiation event in April 2017.

The following is a timeline of the events behind GS’ investigation according to reports by Student Conduct Coordinator Richelle Keilholz.

The two names of the students who reported the incident were redacted from the University’s report under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act protections. Members will be referred to as Student One and Student Two.

April 2017: Hazing and assault at initiation event

On the night of April 18, 2017, Student One said that he was blindfolded and taken to an off-campus location called “The Compound.”

According to the report, Student One described “Gate Night” as an initiation process by Kappa Sigma where new pledge members were brought to 12 rooms or “gates” by their Big Brothers. During this process, verbal ceremonial messages were read to pledges by members of the Executive Council. At the 12th gate, new members were officially considered initiated.

Student One said at the second gate, he was punched several times by non-executive council members who were intoxicated and was eventually knocked unconscious, according to the report.

Student One shared pictures taken from that night, and although the pictures were not made available to The George-Anne, Keilholz’s report describes the pictures as Student One holding a gauze covered in blood.

Student Two reported a similar event that happened to him the same night. According to the report, Student Two said that during his “Gate Night” experience he made it to the seventh gate and was slammed onto the ground.

According to the report, the incident was reported to the chapter’s alumni advisor, Brian Dart. Dart said in a later interview with Keilholz that he spoke with Student One about the event at “Gate Night” and was asked by Student One to have the situation handled within the chapter.

According to the report Dart said after the event, he met with all the members of the organization and made them swear on the Bible that an incident like this would never happen again.

The incident was not reported to the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life or the Dean of Students Office at GS, according to the report.

Fall 2018: Allegations against Student One

In fall 2018, the chapter removed Student One’s new member access and house privileges due to some concerning behavior taking place inside the chapter, according to the report.

In an interview with Keilholz, Dart said new members mentioned they were being harassed and hazed by Student One. According to the report, Student One allegedly asked new members to buy him groceries, do his homework and steal a car seat from a store.

According to the report, Dart said he was told that Student one was using drugs and failing to attend chapter events.

It is not documented in the report if Dart reported Student One’s alleged hazing and harassing actives to the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life or the Dean of Students Office at GS.

November 2018: Assault reported and interim suspension issued

Student One expressed concern to his mother about his status within the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and the incident that occurred in April 2017. According to the report, Student One’s mother contacted Dart and the fraternity’s national representative Leo Brown to ask about her son’s membership status.

According to the report, during these conversations, Student One’s mother described the events that took place in April 2017. Upon receiving the information, Brown placed the GS chapter of Kappa Sigma on interim suspension status with the national organization and is pending review in January 2019.

According to the report, Student One’s name was released to the chapter as the student who reported the incident to the Kappa Sigma National Headquarters.

According to the report Student One said he began receiving death threats and harassing communication from other Kappa Sigma members.

While some messages were sent directly to Student One, others were communicated among other members on Facebook and GroupMe. Screenshots included in Keilholz’s report can be viewed below.

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Possible courses of action

Kappa Sigma has the option to accept the recommendation and their cases would be resolved and their sanctions would go into effect.

Kappa Sigma can choose not to accept the recommendations and can move forward with a formal hearing. Once the formal hearing is complete the sanctions are reviewed by the decision approver.

It is currently unclear which course of action Kappa Sigma has taken. 

During a period of Organizational Suspension, Kappa Sigma may continue to occupy or hold property, but may not seek or add members, hold or sponsor events or attend any events that are social in nature according to pg. 57 in the GS Student Code of Conduct.

Further details on the Delta Tau Delta’s investigation of reports on hazing can be read here.

The investigative report for Kappa Sigma can be viewed below. 

Matthew Enfinger, The George-Anne Editor-in-Chief, [email protected]